Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield have finished fourth in the men’s synchronised 10m platform competition, missing out on a medal.

Gold went to pre-event favourites Yuan Cao and Yanquan Zhang of China. They registered a final score of 486.78 after six consistently good dives and were almost 20.00 points clear of Mexican pair Ivan Garcia Navarro and German Sanchez Sanchez. The USA’s David Boudia and Nicholas McCrory took bronze with 463.47.

The result was a disappointing one for the British pair, even though they performed very well. What makes defeat more difficult for Daley and Waterfield is the fact that after three dives, the half-way stage, they were in the lead, ahead of the Chinese.
In fact, their third dive, a 3.3 difficulty back 3 ½ somersault, earned them a score of 91.80 and individual scores of 9.0 and 9.5. The Chinese scored 89.28 for their third attempt.

Yet, the fourth dive was the turning point. Attempting a reverse 3 ½ somersault, also a 3.3 difficulty dive, Daley and Waterfield came slightly unstuck. Waterfield came out of the dive a little late and Daley came out of it a little early. It meant a score of 71.28. From first, they plummeted to fourth.

From that point, the hugely popular pair were playing catch-up and after a slightly below-par fifth dive, their fate appeared sealed.

Following excellent dives from the Chinese, Mexican and USA pairs, the pressure was piling up and despite an admirable final dive, which produced only a little splash, the deficit was not bridged.

Both divers can console themselves in the knowledge that this competition was, as ever, remarkably competitive. Disappointment, given the anticipation, excitement and media hype, will be inevitable. However, finishing fourth in such an event is no mean feat whatsoever and the British duo did their country proud by diving particularly well.

Daley and Waterfield will compete again later in the week, when they will put their partnership aside and take each other on during the individual event.

James Muir

Image courtesy of The Guardian